A travel pillow is one of those essential little things that can make getting to and from your destinations so much more comfortable.
Turning up well rested and without a sore neck will improve the quality of your holiday no end – and of all the travel tips you ever get, to buy a good travel pillow is one of the cheapest to take on board.
Designed correctly the pillow will allow you to sleep comfortably in an upright position without your head rolling from side to side.
Here are five features you should consider before you part with your money.
An ergonomic design will provide a strong support around your neck and maintain a natural position for your head. It should also prevent your head from bobbing from side to side.
Similar to an ergonomic design, the travel pillow should be supportive. Importantly, it shouldn’t slip about behind your head, and not be too flimsy.
Soft and Comfortable
It kind of goes without saying, but the pillow should be soft and comfortable to touch for extended periods of time, without any hard sections.
After prolonged use it will eventually need to be washed. Look for one that can be easily machine-washed, or has a removable cover.
A great travel pillow will be easy to transport with you whilst not being used. Look for one that can be deflated, strapped on to your luggage or stuffed down to a small size and fitted in a bag.
There are several other things to consider when purchasing a travel pillow. Commonly they come in a U-shaped design, but there are many that have other designs.
Examples of these innovative designs include comma shaped pillows, ones that are shaped like a sash, ones that resemble a cervical collar, and others that even have moveable and adjustable parts.
It’s also important to consider what is inside your travel pillow. Different fillings will have different levels of support and weight.
Memory foam is one of the most supportive and comfortable options – it has the ability to mold to the shape of your head and shoulders. This does result in it being slightly heavier however.
Small rounded polystyrene beads called micro beads are a lot lighter than the memory foam option. They are less supportive in return and may sag after a lot of use.
Buckwheat or millet husks are sometimes used, and these are also less supportive than the memory foam pillows, but tend not to sag like the micro bead fillings. These also have the benefit of being able to adjust the density in certain models.
Inflatable travel pillows have been around for a while, but they are still the first choice for many people due to their portability and lightness.
For more adventure travel info and guides, check out: Adventure Sports Gear: Penknife or Multitool?/ Top 10 travel apps for iPhone, iPad and smartphones / The Ultimate List of Extreme Sports / Airline weight restrictions: what every traveller needs to know/ The Rise of Gastro Adventuring
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